Giggles Drop-In Childcare plans to open Oct. 1 in Lewis Plaza

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The former Antiques on Augusta in Lewis Plaza has a new tenant, Giggles Drop In Childcare | photo composite provided

A North Carolina-based franchise opening this fall in Greenville may be a welcome solution to many local parents’ last-minute child care needs.

The first South Carolina location of Giggles Drop-In Childcare is set to open in Lewis Plaza on Oct. 1 in the 3,400-square-foot former Antiques on Augusta location at 10 W. Lewis Plaza.

The lease was brokered by Pete Brett and David Sigmund of Coldwell Banker Caine.

Franchise owners Brandon and Caroline Kimball are also planning to open a second location in the I-85/Pelham Road area in spring 2018. Brandon Kimball says they are close to finalizing the location, to be announced at a later date.

Giggles, based in Wilmington, N.C., provides child care at an hourly rate for children ages 12 month to 12 years from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. without requiring advance notice or reservations. Children can be dropped off for as little as one hour or for the entire day.

For parents of young children who are used to scrambling to find a babysitter for last-minute functions or a much-needed date night, Giggles just might be the best news they’ve received in a long time. It certainly was for the Kimballs, parents of two young children, when they discovered the franchise while on vacation last year.

“We thought, ‘Holy cow, why is there not anything like this in Greenville?’” Brandon Kimball says.

It got them thinking about bringing the concept to Greenville, specifically the Augusta Road area where they live. Caroline also owns Savvy women’s boutique on Augusta Road, while Brandon is the senior vice president of strategic growth at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group.

After telling other parents about the concept, the Kimballs are confident it will be a hit in their area. “It’s the most ingenious idea,” Brandon Kimball says.

Giggles will also offer summer camp and after-school care, including pickup service from nearby schools thanks to their 15-passenger van.

Child-to-staff ratios range from six to one for the youngest children to 10 to one for the 8-12-year-old category. Kimball says they plan to hire a full-time director and 10-12 part-time and full-time employees. The center’s capacity will be 40-50 children at a time, depending on their ages and number of staff members working.

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